Sermons

Summary: This is a message about living a life that is pleasing to God.

Introduction: A Catholic Bishop recently asked a Yoga group to leave there facility believing the teacings involved in yoga to be contrary to the Catholic churches teaching. The pastor of the church was outraged and proclaimed to the Bishop that Catholic teaching was mere dogma whereas yoga is a lifestyle. Sadly, for far too many in the church being a Christian is not about living a certain "lifestyle." We go to church to be made to feel good and be replenished after a wild and worldly week. Why are you here today? – Music, fellowship, good preaching? What’s church offer me? It’s not about YOU!

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Historical Setting: Prophet from Judea to Israel (like me from MI – to SC). Harsh Language is used to get across a very serious point.

ANTE-THEME – 3 character traits, 4 results if not…

Proposition: If we truly wish to honor God we must consistently…

I. Be just (v. 24a)

A. What exactly is Justice?

1. Golfing Pastor Illustration

2. WWJD, This is not what Israel was doing

B. We need to be like refreshing waters (thirst)

1. Numerous Scripture references to water/thirst (Examples)

2. As X’s we are to be a source of refreshment to the world

II. Be righteous (v. 24b)

A. What is righteousness?

1. Define

2. Maurice Besenger claims to be a Christian yet fights to fly the confedrate flag!

B. Like ever-flowing stream

1. Importance of consistency in our walk

2. Wilkinson Hotel Illustration Christian conference witnessing to the manager. Turns out 60% of hotel rooms paid for the sex channels that night

III. Be God-centered (v. 26)

A. Israel’s sin – Worshipping Idols

1. Of course we don’t carry any gods

2. Money, Sex, Status, Self – we are a society of self-medicators

B. These gods can never satisfy (Micah 6:8 – SCC)

Otherwise, God will not…

I).Delight in our festivals & assemblies (v. 21)

A).Festivals

1). In their day – fest of lights, Passover, fest of booths, Pentecost

2).Easter/Christmas/Thanks/Lord’s Supper/Baptism/Weddings

B).Assemblies

1).Their day – Sabbath,

2).Regular meetings – Sunday,

II). Accept our tithes and offerings (v. 22)

A).Do you? You need to!

1). In a worthy manor

2).Visiting Pastor Illustration

B). He doesn’t need our offerings, He wants them (v. 25)

1) The cattle on a thousand hills

2) Do you really trust God? – Where your treasure is...

III).Hear our worship (v. 23)

A). What you do not what you say

B). It’s not about the entertainment value! In fact, He may even…

IV).Exile of pseudo believers (v. 27)

A) Church at Laodicea

B) Many churches today hold their service without God

1) Shift away from light into darkness

2) The Most scary words of all time "Depart from me..."

CONCLUSION: What’s your heart like? It matters to God. (Hosea 6:6 – I desire mercy, not sacrifice).

GOLFING PASTOR JUSTICE:

Once there was a man who was such a golf addict that he was neglecting his job. Frequently he would call in sick as an excuse to play.

One morning, after making his usual call to the office, an angel up above spotted him on the way to the golf course and decided to teach him a lesson. "If you play golf today, you will be punished," the angel whispered in his ear.

Thinking it was only his conscience, which he had successfully whipped in the past, the fellow just smiled. "No," he said, "I’ve been doing this for years. No one will ever know. I won’t be punished."

The angel said no more and the fellow stepped up to the first tee where he promptly whacked the ball 300 yards straight down the middle of the fairway. Since he had never driven the ball more than 200 yards, he couldn’t believe it. Yet, there it was. And his luck continued. Long drives on every hole, perfect putting. By the ninth hole he was six under par and was playing near-perfect golf. The fellow was walking on air.

He wound up with an amazing 61, about 30 strokes under his usual game. Wait until he got back to the office and told them about this! But, suddenly, his face fell. He couldn’t tell them. He could never tell anyone.

The angel smiled.

SCRIPTURE EXAMPLES

1. Woman at the well (John 4:7-14)

2. Jesus’ invitation (John 7:37-38)

3. As the deer…(PS 42:1)

Righteousness Illustration

One of the greatest challenges confronting believers today is to communicate the message of Christ in terms that everyday people can understand. Words like “Righteousness” (Rom. 1:17) have become unrecognizable to many in our culture, and even to many in the church.

Yet it’s hard to talk about the gospel—and virtually impossible to understand Romans—without coming to terms with the word “righteousness” (Greek, dikaiosuna). In fact, the New Testament uses the term in one form or another no less than 228 times, at least 40 in Romans. What, then, does “righteousness” mean and how does the gospel reveal “the righteousness of God” (v. 17)?

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